# A Bit of Diagramming Help, please

• 17-Dec-2010, 15:01
TheParser
A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
On November 12, 1940, Mr. Winston Churchill included these words in his beautiful and moving eulogy for Mr. Neville Chamberlain:

It is not given to human beings, happily for them, for otherwise

life would be intolerable, to foresee or to predict to any large

extent the unfolding course of events.

Of course, I do not expect anyone to diagram all of that for me.

I think that I can diagram the main sentence:

It (to foresee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding

course of events) is not given to human beings.

But I am having trouble diagramming the parenthetical

elements: happily for them, for otherwise life would be

intolerable.

THANK YOU for any help that you may wish to pass along to

• 17-Dec-2010, 21:52
corum
Re: A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
• 18-Dec-2010, 12:36
TheParser
Re: A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
Quote:

Originally Posted by corum

Wow!!! What a pleasant surprise. Thank you SO much for taking the

time and effort to help me with that fantastic diagram.
• 18-Dec-2010, 14:28
Frank Antonson
Re: A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheParser
On November 12, 1940, Mr. Winston Churchill included these words in his beautiful and moving eulogy for Mr. Neville Chamberlain:

It is not given to human beings, happily for them, for otherwise

life would be intolerable, to foresee or to predict to any large

extent the unfolding course of events.

Of course, I do not expect anyone to diagram all of that for me.

I think that I can diagram the main sentence:

It (to foresee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding

course of events) is not given to human beings.

But I am having trouble diagramming the parenthetical

elements: happily for them, for otherwise life would be

intolerable.

THANK YOU for any help that you may wish to pass along to

Yes, I see what you mean. Well, the "for" is used as a conjunction, as if it were the word "because". The clause that follows it could be treated simply as an adverb clause.

I think "happily for them" is just set of to the side and not connected -- there is a name for that, but I can't think of it right away. The phrase acts a little like an interjection. Otherwise you could introduce understood words like "and this happens happily for them" if you want to make the whole diagram as one connected "web". The adverb clause modifies "happily" and "otherwise" modifies "would be".

Now, since I began to write this reply, I see that it has been diagrammed. I will send this and then look.
• 18-Dec-2010, 14:33
Frank Antonson
Re: A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
Nice diagram.

I disagree with what the "for..." clause modifies, and I think the appositive could have been made single with a compound infinitive. This second thought would make the diagram much less complicated. That compound infinitive shares the direct object.

Also, I think Corum forgot the word "be". (It does that now and then -- brilliant diagram but with a missing word.) (!)
• 18-Dec-2010, 16:15
corum
Re: A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Antonson
Nice diagram.

I disagree with what the "for..." clause modifies,

I think it is okay in my dia. ;-)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Antonson
and I think the appositive could have been made single with a compound infinitive.

Thus?

http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/364/toandto.gif

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Antonson
Also, I think Corum forgot the word "be". (It does that now and then -- brilliant diagram but with a missing word.) (!)

Silly me! I left it out! :oops:
• 18-Dec-2010, 21:13
Frank Antonson
Re: A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
That's pretty! And kind of funny.

Yes, I guess that is what I mean. I guess I would make the dashed line horizontal and closer to the split.

In any case, nice work!
• 18-Dec-2010, 21:18
Frank Antonson
Re: A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
Yes, I guess you are right about the modification of the "for" clause, but when I looked more closely at your diagram, I noticed that you had treated "happily" as if it were a participle. Now THAT I think is wrong.
• 18-Dec-2010, 21:40
TheParser
Re: A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Antonson
That's pretty! And kind of funny.

Yes, I guess that is what I mean. I guess I would make the dashed line horizontal and closer to the split.

In any case, nice work!

Gentlemen,

Thanks again for helping me so much.

By a happy coincidence, I was able to find a somewhat

similar situation in Kitty Burns Florey's delightful Sister

Bernadette's Barking Dog (Melville House Publishing: Hoboken, New Jersey,
2006).

I believe that I have given enough credit in order to legally quote part of

one of her sentences:

No pictures that represent us otherwise can be true, though, happily, for human nature, gleamings of that pure spirit in whose likeness man has been fashioned are to be seen ....

Ms. Florey diagrams "though" as connecting:

"No pictures that represent us otherwise can be true"

and

"gleamings ... are to be seen."

I think that we three agree with her.

Apparently, to make things as simplified as possible, she then

diagrams "happily" as an adverb that modifies "are to be seen."

(With "for human nature" modifying "happily.")

That is her opinion. Perhaps others feel that "happily for human

nature" should be diagrammed as an independent element (disjunct).

I think that some people have pointed out that they disagree with

certain aspects of her diagrams.

It appears that people can have sincere differences of opinion on

how to use the Reed-Kellogg system. It's a wonderful way to

exercise one's brain, isn't it!!!
• 18-Dec-2010, 23:22
Frank Antonson
Re: A Bit of Diagramming Help, please
Yes, it certainly is!

Sometimes how a diagram should look depends upon what the speaker intended.

I think that for her book Florey used Eugene Moutoux's (spelling?) help. He is certainly an authority, and I think Corum once referred to him as his mentor.

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